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Edinburgh Fringe 2021

Cheryl Martin – One Woman

Cheryl Martin / Produced by Switchflicker Productions. Director/Collaborator: Juliet Ellis

Genre: LGBT, Storytelling, Theatre

Venue: Summerhall Online


Low Down

“A hypnotic dreamscape. Through binaural sound audiences are drawn into the mind of a woman who grew up with severe depression and BPD, as she tries to find the answer to who she was, how she came to be that person, who she might have been and who she is now. The audience is taken right to the heart of the most difficult memories, that ultimately transcend the past and point the way to a different future. A future where the memories lose their grip, and with that loss, the power of the abuser fades.”


There is a voice – we are listening to the spoken word of a woman – writer, performer Cheryl Martin, directed by Juliet Ellis. We see images on the screen that draw us in and transport us to another place, to another’s mind and into her memories.

Poetry, song, metaphor and butterflies set the scene for what is to follow. The sensitivity of one’s mind is to be respected when seeking to find threads of thoughts, stories and recollections, good and bad, true and imagined and to make sense of it all. Martin leads us on her journey.

Ever present beautiful imagery of fragile, faded, silhouettes, shadows, movement and deep colours envelop Martin’s moving verbal and visual abstract storytelling.

Told in several Fragments, we discover that the unspeakable happened to her – this emanates discretely through tiny words on the screen – as if written in the quietest whisper. She was a very young girl when she was abused. Scars on her body betrayed their secrets when she was older. Memories fade, repeat, change, become imagined and return vividly, the mind is vulnerable as is the victim.

A programme note suggests using headphones for binaural sound by Guillaume Dujat, which adds depth of sound and closeness to the environment.

This is non-linear poetic storytelling told through voice, sound and imagery. A poignant moment is a collage of different voices, each giving their own opinion about things concerning the mind and its triggers.

Martin finds solace on the sand – as slow billowing clouds move by gently, and a calm sea ripples and glistens across the soft welcoming sand and covers her feet. The waves gain energy and Cheryl Martin is ready to deal in her own uplifting way.